Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tamaya Syrah

In an effort to ensure that Boo doesn't hate me too much for taking advantage of the loosened "No Buy Leash" during the recent Playhouse Wine Festival, I opened one of the bottles that I picked up there. My thinking was that he might forget - if only a little bit - about all the new bottles if he's actually enjoyed some of the new acquisitions.

1084. 2010 Viña Tamaya - Winemaker's Selection - Single Vineyard Syrah (Limarí Valley - Chile)

Tonight's wine is a direct example of how the Playhouse Festival is great for introducing wine lovers to all sorts of wineries that might not otherwise show up on the radar. Tamaya is one of the thirty-five Chilean wineries that participated in the Festival's Regional Theme. It's also a winery that I wasn't familiar with at all prior to the Festival.

Tamaya is located in the Limarí Valley, 400 kms to the north of Santiago, a region that lies adjacent to the Atacama Desert - the most arid desert in the world. Growing conditions are moderated, however, by ocean breezes that blow into the valley, approximately 20 kms, from the Pacific Ocean nearby. Situated in the foothills of the Andes, the region is probably better known for the production of Pisco - the national liquor of Chile. Wine has been made in the area for centuries, however. Despite the history of winemaking in the region, Tamaya is a relatively recent enterprise. Its vineyards date to 1997 and construction of the winery began in 2001.

Tamaya has been able to capitalize on the burgeoning regionalization of Chile's wine industry and the increasing global recognition of those regions. There was only one other winery at the Festival that hailed from Limarí; yet, the region's name was being introduced right along with Colchagua, Aconcagua, Casablanca and the others.

It didn't hurt that Tamaya was able to boast that their Syrah took the Best in Show trophy at the 2012 Wines of Chile Awards.

I particularly liked the refined nature of the wine's profile. It had a big nose to seduce you; yet, the fruit on the palate was subdued and the tannins were soft. There was no mistaking them but everything was nicely integrated and understated.

Even Boo had to admit he liked it. With this being the first bottle to be opened from the Festival, I think I might have dodged a bullet.

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